December 2020 - In our hands

Publish date 10-12-2020

by Ernesto Olivero

Every so often I think back to the 1970s, to the real fear that terrorism caused. In a city like Turin, someone was hit every day. How much pain, how many broken families, how much blood! We lived a deep sense of uncertainty, we wondered when it would all end. In those complicated years I felt that we had to do something, that we could not afford to give up hope.

So we invented public meetings, usually in the squares, asking people to come, to break the circle of fear, to shout with their silence. We called them "Afternoons of Hope" and it was not a consoling proposal. I saw terrorism already finished, I felt that we had to gather the best energies to rebuild the aftermath, to heal certain wounds. The prophecy of an arsenal of war transformed into an Arsenal of Peace was basically one of the fruits of that season.

Today we are in a different situation, it is wrong to make comparisons. But in some respects we still experience a sense of fear, anger, uncertainty. We all feel more vulnerable and experience our fragility. Still, I feel we need to start thinking about the world to come. Because that world is really in our hands. This suspended time can be an opportunity to stop, to think, to give new priorities to our life, relaunching our commitment and our desires. I feel that it can also be a time to reorient ourselves towards God, the origin and end of everything, to return to him with the heart.

Let us not be stopped by the difficulties of the moment. As I said to the young people during the Youth Peace Meeting in Padua in 2017, Let's start again with love! A concrete love, an available love, capable of speaking to the heart and reason.
For example, we must rediscover our public responsibility, relaunch our commitment to the common good. Globally we should reflect more on the people to whom we entrust responsibility, on the choices in terms of ecology, immigration, development, peace ...

We should have the courage to relaunch the fight against injustice, against hunger, against inequalities.
And again, ask for serious action on climate change.
The world belongs to us, we don't have another one. The Covid short circuit must be a lesson in this.
Those who truly love will find a path made of transparency, gratuitousness, availability, passion, fraternity. And as he walks, he will also discover more and more the presence of God: the synthesis of a whole life.

Ernesto Olivero
NP December 2020

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